Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

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Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by sabrjay on Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:35 pm

I always thought I knew a fair amount about lesser stars and common players of the 19th century and pre-WW2 game but playing the vintage baseball sim has shown that I really know very little. This got me to thinking, how much do you really know about the players on your cards outside of the HOFers in your collection?

For me, the sim has really gotten me to dig deeper into the game and learn more about it and players other than the HOFers, which everyone already knows about.

Show us some cards of lesser known players with interesting stories that most may not have heard.

Jay

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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by TheRiddler on Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:41 pm

One of two men to hit 4 triples in a game (and the only one who has a card)



Yes, I could have gotten a better card example, but then I wouldn't have been able to give my chauffeur as nice a Christmas bonus.
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by bowlingshoeguy on Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:46 pm

I'm worried about Mr. Joyce's scrape on the forehead and the lovely cauliflower ear. he must have been quite a wrestler. Or Gil's card is not going to grade a 10.

Lee
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by TheRiddler on Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:49 pm

Here is the same guy flanked by the 1st and 2nd player to hit 4 HRs in a game.
Same card selection criteria as cited above was applied to each of this grouping.

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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by fisherboy7 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:33 pm

Gil is that your Mayo Delahanty? Sure he's rough, but still, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers

Nice cards

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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by TheRiddler on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:06 pm

Yes Ben, those three are mine.

One player whose scan Jay provided:



Is Jimmy Wood. I had never heard of him, but in playing the simulation of the National Association, it quickly became apparent that he was a top batter who hit for power, typically in the top ten in slugging and compiling a .333 average. He was also well above the league average in fielding (second basemen).
However, at what appeared to be still the top of his career, in 1874, he disappeared from the stats.
Checking this out, it turns out that an attempt to lance a boil on his leg with a pocket knife, resulted in amputation being required. We've come some way in medical understanding since that time (and still have far to go).
Wood's career actually started in 1860 with the Eckfords of Brooklyn, and continued with them until the formation of the Association.
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by Bosox Blair on Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:56 pm

George Whiteman was a guy who never got a fair shake. His story is set out in "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" at p.117-118. The short version is that he was purchased by Boston with Tris Speaker. He played only 3 games for Boston before being let go. He toiled in the minors for many years. The New York (AL) team gave him a look in 1913 and he performed admirably. He hit .344 over 11 games. But back to the minors he went. Then in 1918, Boston reacquired the 35 year old Whiteman from Toronto. They platooned him with Babe Ruth in the outfield (Whiteman was a righty). In the 1918 World Series, the Cubs threw all lefties at the Red Sox, and as a result the journeyman Whiteman batted cleanup for every game of the Series. He played very well in the Series, which the Red Sox won. It was a low-scoring affair, and Whiteman hit .250 which was the highest of any Red Sox regular. It was said that his defence in the Series was excellent. The 1919 "Reach Guide" sang his praises. Despite this, after the Series, Whiteman never played in the majors again.

I believe his only card is the 1919 W514 strip card, which (poetically, for a guy who was always overlooked) names him incorrectly as "Charles":

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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by terjung on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:35 am

Great and interesting story on Whiteman. Thanks for sharing it!
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by fisherboy7 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:18 pm

When I first picked up my N321 SF Hess Sweeney, I knew next to nothing about the player. But with a little help from a few board members, I found out that he had a pretty successful ML pitching career (held the record for strikeouts in a game with 19 until Clemens broke it in '86) and was also a murderer! It's always great finding out about the players on our cards. This N321 is probably my favorite card in my collection now.

Here's an excerpt from Rhett's post:

Charles J. Sweeney won a total of 41 games during the 1884 season. Sweeney was originally from California, being born in San Francisco in 1863. He was a good pitcher but an even bigger bastard, apparently!

In 1884 he refused to be removed from a game as pitcher and play in the outfield, instead he left the field leaving his team a man down, this incdent ultimately is what caused him to be released from Providence (and allowing Radbourn the increased workload he needed to post his amazing 1884 stats, seriously 59 wins!!!).

Anyways in 1886 he was involved in a pretty severe fight with teammate Emmett Seery that prompted the Sporting Life to say about Sweeney one of my favorite quotes, they called him a "whiskey guzzling cowardly nincompoop."

After his career in the East ended he went back to California and continued to raise hell, all culminating in 1894 when he shot and killed a man in a bar named Con MacManus, he was convicted of homicide and spent the remainder of his life in prison. He died at a young age in 1902 (while in prison).

While there are some cooler poses in the N321 set, one would be hard pressed to find a more interesting "story" than a 40-game winner turned murderer.


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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by Bosox Blair on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:51 pm

Wild story about Sweeney - there certainly were a lot of reprobates playing ball in the olden days!
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by sabrjay on Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:11 am

Baseball players back then didn't exactly have the best reputation. That's why there was such a big deal made about Matty and his college education. College educated boys just didn't play pro ball back then.

Jay

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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

Post by TheRiddler on Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:39 am

Grin Bradley posted 16 shutouts in the NL's first season.


And he pitched the first 88 games of his team, covering two years.
Posting a 78-45 record for those two years with ERAs of 2.05, then 1.23.
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Re: Do you really know anything about the player on the card?

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